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Research Papers

Methodology to Design Simulated Irradiated Fuel by Maximizing Integral Indices (ck, E, G)

[+] Author and Article Information
Jason R. Sharpe

Department of Engineering Physics,
McMaster University,
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8, Canada
e-mail: sharpejr@mcmaster.ca

Adriaan Buijs

Department of Engineering Physics,
McMaster University,
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8, Canada
e-mail: buijsa@mcmaster.ca

Jeremy Pencer

Computational Physics Branch, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories,
Engineering Physics,
McMaster University,
Deep River, ON K0J 1P0, Canada
e-mail: jeremy.pencer@cnl.ca

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received May 8, 2015; final manuscript received July 8, 2015; published online February 29, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Thomas Schulenberg.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 2(2), 021017 (Feb 29, 2016) (7 pages) Paper No: NERS-15-1079; doi: 10.1115/1.4031074 History: Received May 08, 2015; Accepted July 13, 2015

Critical experiments are used for validation of reactor physics codes, in particular, to determine the biases and uncertainties in code predictions. To reflect all conditions present in operating reactors, plans for such experiments often require tests involving irradiated fuel. However, it is impractical to use actual irradiated fuel in critical experiments due to hazards associated with handling and transporting the fuel. To overcome this limitation, a simulated irradiated fuel, whose composition mimics the neutronic behavior of the truly irradiated fuel (TRUFUEL), can be used in a critical experiment. Here, we present an optimization method in which the composition of simulated irradiated fuel for the Canadian supercritical water-cooled reactor (SCWR) concept at midburnup (21.3  MWdkg1 (IHM)) is varied until the integral indices ck, E, and G are maximized between the true and simulated irradiated fuel. In the optimization, the simulated irradiated fuel composition is simplified so that only the major actinides (U233, Pu238-242, and Th232) remain, while the absorbing fission products are replaced by dysprosia and zirconia. In this method, the integral indices ck, E, and G are maximized while the buckling, k and the relative ring-averaged pin fission powers are constrained, within a certain tolerance, to their reference lattice values. Using this method, maximized integral similarity indices of ck=0.967, E=0.992, and G=0.891 have been obtained.

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Figures

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Fig. 3

Methodology used to ensure the validity of comparisons. Above the dashed line indicate TRUFUEL, below the dashed line indicates SIMFUEL

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Fig. 4

Radial and Cartesian meshing used in the one-eighth fuel cell modeled with NEWT

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Fig. 2

Cross-sectional view of the 64-element Canadian PT-SCWR fuel bundle concept, channel, and lattice cell

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Fig. 1

Pu239 fission sensitivity profiles for SIMFUEL and TRUFUEL. A similarity index of GPu,fission239=0.9995 was found between these two profiles

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